OAK LAWN, Ill., Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A Chicago-area car dealer says he wants to hire a salesman fired by a rival for refusing to remove his Green Bay Packers necktie after the Bears' playoff loss.
Jerry Roberts, general manager of Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, said he fired John Stone Monday after the salesman was given five chances to change out of his Packers tie, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday. In the aftermath of media coverage of Stone's sacking, Guy Cesario of Chevrolet of Homewood told the newspaper he wants to hire Stone -- because his dealership has been getting calls "from as far away as San Diego, saying they'll buy from him and only him."
Roberts defended his decision to fire Stone, saying the tie was "salting the wounds" from the Bears' 21-14 playoff loss Sunday to the arch-rival Packers.
"We spend $20,000 a month on advertising with the Bears on WBBM during the season, and we have Bears players including Corey Wootten driving loaner vehicles, and here was a salesman openly undoing that work," Roberts said.
Stone, a father of two who worked for Webb Chevrolet for a month and a half, said he was outraged to be fired over a tie.
"I was just showing my love for my team and it was a nice, smart tie that matched my clothes -- none of the customers minded: they had a sense of humor about it," he said.
He told the newspaper he hadn't decided yet whether to accept the job offer from Cesario.
Cesario said salesmen at his dealership routinely sport colors of out-of-town teams.